A young pharmacist has argued against the Department of Health cuts on prime-time TV.

In a segment on the BBC Six O’clock News on May 19, Thorrun Govind, who registered this year, told viewers that the cuts would lead to pharmacy closures and could compromise services, particularly in areas of high deprivation.

The interview was part of a series where the BBC asked voters what issues were important to them in the General Election and what they would like to see changed.

Govind, who describes herself as a one-person pressure group, said that she had been approached by the BBC as a result of messages she had sent out on Twitter.

She begins the interview by saying that the cuts are going to impact on patients and emphasises that pharmacy is a really pressurised environment: “We are trying to do the best for the patient but it is also a safety issue. We are not handing out apples and pears, we are handing out drugs that can potentially kill someone so we need to make sure that pharmacies are provided with appropriate funding and have the right amount of staff to make sure that we can be safe.”

She also points out that the EU will be creating extra pressures. “The falsified medicines directive, which will involve us in scanning every item into a pharmacy, is going to have a big impact on staffing in pharmacies. We are going to require extra staff to do that. How are we going to do that with the cuts?”

Govind says that the future for community pharmacy looks bleak. “We are going to have pharmacy closures. We don’t know how many are going to close but it is also going to impact on the NHS because we are going to have more people going to A&E and it is going to be harder to get a GP’s appointment and some of the really vulnerable patients are going to suffer.”

She is clear on what basis she will cast her vote: “If I can find a party which is going to support community pharmacy and value the work that we do in helping save money for the NHS and help us provide for our patients then they have definitely got my vote.”

Govind was interviewed in the Marsden Road, Bolton, branch of Sykes Chemists by Amol Rajan. You can watch the interview here.

Originally Published by Independent Pharmacist

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